Phoenix Turkey Day Ride
2017 - 35th Anniversary
Who? You, me, our friends, and their friends. Everyone welcome!
What? The 35th time a group of crazy riders gather, too cold and too early, to ride up South Mountain to keep in shape and carry a rock up to Dobbins point in an effort to slow down the mountain's erosion. See "History and Tradition" below to learn about these crazy traditions. Average to brisk pace to the mountain. After loading up with rocks at the old gate (bathrooms) there's an unofficial race to Dobbins. Please come self contained as there is no support. About 40 miles round trip.
When? Thursday, November 23rd, leaving at 6:30am (Yes, could be cold)
Why? Because we're all crazy? Earn the right to consume mass calories? It's fun?
Where? Northeast corner of Camelback and Central (A.J.'s)

Traditions
  The first tradition was that we always stopped at Duncan Donuts on the way back for Hot Chocolate since it was typically cold. For many years we provided Hot Chocolate at Dobbins but the ride is so large we are looking for someone to donate.
As more riders started showing up we started loading the faster riders up with rocks at the bottom of the mountain as a handicap. This eventually began the "Fight Erosion on South Mountain" tradition with the "Rock Toss" ceremony at the top.
As time went by we tried changing the start time. We found 5:00am meant very few riders and 8:00am or later meant people didn't think they would make it home in time to get ready for the day, and so very few riders. So it finally settled on 6:30am. It has been as cold at 30 degrees and as warm as about 60. We ride rain or shine, hot or freezing.
The ride has an unofficial competition that starts at the bathroom area at the base of the mountain after everyone has gathered rocks. Bragging rights only.
Observations
Joel rode the most consecutive rides at 30 in a row until breaking up a dog fight and being the loser. Doh!
He has now handed over heading up the ride to Phil Wilson who has ridden it since the 80's.
The ride has grown from 5 riders to 150-250 riders and is spread by word of mouth and this web site. It is an unsponsored, unsanctioned event and just happens every year. Everyone is welcome. Those without helmets will asked to ride by themselves. The pace is casual to spirited to the base of the mountain. Some will participate in the unofficial contest to Dobbins, some will ride up at their own pace there and others will be anti-social and skip Dobbins to ride to the Towers. It's all good!
History

The TurkeyDayRide officially started in 1980. There were 5 riders and the ride started at 5:00am on Thanksgiving morning. The idea was to get a good ride in, get to Dobbins point early enough to watch the sunrise and get home in time to work on Thanksgiving day activities of cleaning and cooking food for the family.

To the best of my knowledge the five riders were Joel Nelson, Scott Foster, Greg Sumrall, John Brush and Jim Norman. They will correct me if I am wrong except John Brush who is no longer with us. Peace out John!

There were two years where the ride did not take place which is why it seems we are two years off.


This is an unsponsored, unsanctioned, unorganized event that just happens every year.
Various individuals have notoriety for this events historical start.